DOG HELPS HOCKEY PLAYER DEAL WITH SEIZURES - “Moxie is amazing…She’s by my side, every step, every day. I certainly wouldn’t be able to be as independent without the service and safety she provides.”

A sled-hockey player named Christy Gardner was recently honored as USA Hockey’s Disabled Athlete of the Year. Due to injuries suffered while serving in the army, Gardner suffers from occasional seizures. However, her service dog, a Golden Retriever named Moxie, is trained to stabilize her when a seizure occurs. Read more from the N.Y. Daily News:

Moxie is a 5-year-old golden retriever, an assistance dog with a weakness for peanut butter and an astonishing set of skills, all of them cultivated to keep Gardner safe. Moxie, happily, did not have to do much of anything but watch nine days ago, when Gardner was honored as USA Hockey’s Disabled Athlete of the Year — a distinction earned not so much by her dazzling skills as a sled-hockey player as by her voracious appetite for improvement — getting after her latest athletic passion the way Moxie gets after a chew toy.

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Technically, Moxie was trained only to help respond to a seizure. So if Gardner were stricken, Moxie would go get the telephone and bring it to her. She could open the door, and run over to a neighbor’s house and ring the doorbell. She could even climb a ladder or activate an elevator in order to stay close to Gardner.

But because of the close bond that Gardner and Moxie forged at the beginning of the puppy’s life, Moxie grew so in tune with her owner that she could detect a seizure moments before it would happen. Much as diabetes-assistance dogs can pick up on the secretion of a hormone before a low blood-sugar attack — dogs have a sense of smell 100 times more acute than humans do — seizure-assistance dogs often can detect an almost imperceptible twitch, a toe tap or finger snap, that occurs before a full seizure.

Moxie is an amazing dog who is helping an amazing athlete. What a pair! Click here for the full story. (Photos by Robert F. Bukaty)

CNN.com has a series of short videos highlighting dogs who have acted heroically, including a dog who saved a paralyzed bicyclist, a dog who saved his diabetic owner’s life, a dog who saved abandoned kittens, and a dog who called 911 when his owner had a seizure.  That’s right, a German Shephard was actually trained to dial 911!  In the video, you can hear the recording.  Click here for the full story on these heroic canines.

CNN.com has a series of short videos highlighting dogs who have acted heroically, including a dog who saved a paralyzed bicyclist, a dog who saved his diabetic owner’s life, a dog who saved abandoned kittens, and a dog who called 911 when his owner had a seizure.  That’s right, a German Shephard was actually trained to dial 911!  In the video, you can hear the recording.  Click here for the full story on these heroic canines.

Dog Gets Help for Unconscious Owner

A dog in Texas named Bear ran around and got help from neighbors after Bear’s owner collapsed and hit her head from a seizure.  This article from upi.com explains:

Bear, a 5-year-old German shepherd, tried to rouse its owner, Debbie Zeisler, and then began scratching at neighbors’ doors after Zeisler collapsed and hit her head on the front stairs of her house in Millsap, the Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram reported Thursday.

Parker County animal control employees Karen Kessler and Terry Pena were nearby on an unrelated call and saw what Bear was doing, the newspaper said.

"Bear just crawled up in my lap while I was sitting in the truck. One of his tags said, ‘I am a service dog,’ and another said, ‘I am a seizure dog, said Kessler, Parker County’s animal control supervisor. "We knew there was a problem because service dogs normally don’t leave their people."

It looks like Bear was a “seizure dog” specially trained to help in case the owner suffered from a seizure, and the training definitely paid off.  I wonder how my own dog would react if he saw me lying on the ground.  I suspect he would probably just sit on me.